INSPIRATIONAL figures across the county have been honoured for helping the homeless, saving lives, providing mental health support and looking after their communities.

A ‘humbling’ High Sheriff’s Awards evening at Christ Church, Oxford, on Thursday recognised courageous, caring and community-minded people across Oxfordshire.

Among the winners was Ron Dale, who saved the life of Canadian airman Sgt Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon, who was trapped in a burning plane in Milton-under-Wychwood in 1942.

Mr Dale collected the award on his 92nd birthday in recognition of his courage at the age of 17.

Incoming High Sheriff, Richard Venables said the award was ‘75 years late’ but much deserved.

He said: “While Mr Dale does not consider himself a hero – we do and we feel that at 92, Ron’s act of courage should be recognised and not just lost in the mists of time.”

From Vietnam War veteran John Lindquist, who works tirelessly to keep Minster Lovell tidy, to Jenny Bone, from Kingston Bagpuize, who set up a cafe for socially isolated people, all manner of inspirational people were recognised.

The homeless crisis was also in the spotlight with Lorraine Green of The Porch, Deborah Robson-Grey founder of Homes4All, and Jenny Kain, from Ma Smith’s Oxford Soup Kitchen, all being commended.

One of the award winners, Mary Phillips Duckworth, sadly passed away shortly after being nominated and husband George collected it on her behalf.

The Wallingford woman was honoured and remembered for her career supporting vulnerable people, including young offenders, her work as a magistrate and as chairwoman of the Oxfordshire Family Panel.

The High Sheriff, Jane Cranston, who will shortly hand over her role, greeted all the winners. She said: “It was really very humbling to meet such wonderful people, who care so deeply about the world and others around them.

“I have been bowled over by the sheer number of people that give up their time for key and valuable volunteering roles in Oxfordshire.

“It is a privilege to have had this opportunity to recognise and honours just a few of them.”


  • Peter Agulnik, Sandford on Thames;
  • Stephen Andrews, Charlbury;
  • Jenny Bone, Kingston Bagpuize;
  • Jill Bull, Carterton;
  • Kerry Davis, Faringdon;
  • Tanya Ellis, Benson;
  • Lorraine Green, Oxford;
  • Jenny Kain, Oxford;
  • John Lindquist, Witney;
  • Margaret Little, Banbury;
  • Darryn Moulding, Burford;
  • Alan Peckham, Steeple Aston;
  • Mary Phillips Duckworth, Wallingford;
  • Deborah Robson-Grey, Witney;
  • Gilly Simmonds, Witney;
  • Sylvia Vetta, Kennington;
  • Jennie Walmsley, Oxford,
  • Ron Dale, Thorney Leys.